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Working Paper 91 - Health Expenditures and Health Outcomes in Africa

This paper provides econometric evidence linking African countries’ per capita total as well as government health expenditures and per capita income to two health outcomes: infant mortality and under-five mortality. This relationship is examined, using data from 47 African countries between 1999 and 2004. Health expenditures have a statistically significant effect on infant mortality and under-five mortality. The magnitude of our elasticity estimates are in consonance to those reported in the literature. For African countries, our results imply that total health expenditures (as well as the public component) are certainly important contributor to health outcomes. In addition, we find that both infant and under-five mortality are positively and significantly associated with Sub-Saharan Africa. The reverse is true for North Africa. While ethnolinguistic fractionalization and HIV prevalence positively and significantly affect the health outcomes, higher numbers physicians and female literacy significantly reduce these health outcomes. These results have important implications for attaining the targets envisioned by the Millennium Development Goals. The data implications are also discussed.

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Paper provided by African Development Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 226.

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Date of creation: 17 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:adb:adbwps:226
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  13. Emanuele Baldacci & Maria Teresa Guin-Siu & Luiz De Mello, 2003. "More on the effectiveness of public spending on health care and education: a covariance structure model," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 709-725.
  14. John Robst & Glenn Graham, 1997. "Access to health care and current health status: do physicians matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 45-48.
  15. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1997. "Child mortality and public spending on health : how much does money matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1864, The World Bank.
  16. Roman Arjona & Maxime Ladaique & Mark Pearson, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Social Protection," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 51, OECD Publishing.
  17. Pierre-Yves Crémieux & Marie-Claude Meilleur & Pierre Ouellette & Patrick Petit & Martin Zelder & Ken Potvin, 2005. "Public and private pharmaceutical spending as determinants of health outcomes in Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 107-116.
  18. Marijn Verhoeven & Sanjeev Gupta & Erwin Tiongson, 1999. "Does Higher Government Spending Buy Better Results in Education and Health Care?," IMF Working Papers 99/21, International Monetary Fund.
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